Curlin Rolls to Easy Victory in Stephen Foster

Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin took the lead entering the stretch and rolled to an impressive4 1/4-length victory in the $1-million Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Longshot Barcola jumped out to the early advantage, leading another longshot, Sam P., through moderate early fractions of :25.01, :49.28, and 1:13.41 for the first six furlongs. Curlin began making his move rounding the second turn and Barcola continued to lead after a mile was completed in 1:37.39. From that point on, it was no contest as Curlin rolled to the front and drew off for an easy victory.

Sent off as the heavy 2-5 favorite under jockey Robby Albarado, Curlin was making his first start since winning the March 29 Dubai World Cup. The Steve Asmussen trainee was saddled with top weight of 128 pounds, conceding 10 pounds to Einstein, the second high weight at 118.

The winner's share of $589,000 from the Stephen Foster Handicap's record $1-million purse improved his career earnings to $9,396,800, third on the all-time list behind Cigar, who remains the career leader with earnings of $9,999,815, and Skip Away's $9,616,360.

The win was the ninth in 12 starts for Curlin, a son of Smart Strike--Sheriff's Deputy (by Deputy Minister) who races for Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables and Midnight Cry Stables. In addition to the World Cup and Stephen Foster, Curlin has victories in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Preakness Stakes, Arkansas Derby, and Rebel Stakes to his credit.

(Originally published at

About the Author

Ron Mitchell/The Horse

Ron Mitchell is Online Managing Editor for The Blood-Horse magazine. A Lexington native, Mitchell joined The Blood-Horse after serving in editorial capacities with The Thoroughbred Record and Thoroughbred Times, specializing in business and auction aspects of the industry, and was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Horsemen’s Journal. As online managing editor, Mitchell works closely with The Blood-Horse news editor and other departments to make sure the website content is the most thorough and accurate source for all Thoroughbred news, results, videos, and data.

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